Writing a Novel – Day 5

Dec 7 2012

Quiet day yesterday as I worked on editing the chapters already done and completed chapter 3. In my new-found confidence about the state of the book, I gave in to my daughter’s desire to read what I’ve written so far. Luckily she was interrupted before she had finished the first chapter and I’ve quickly withdrawn the book so I can put some more thought into whether I want an opinion from her at this point in time. It is not the sort of book she naturally gravitates to, so her disinterest might be very demotivating.

Today’s plan is to get a start on the fourth chapter. I have some more ideas to beef up the first 3 chapters, but I’ve decided to put them on hold for now, because there is no end to the tweaking that can be done and I don’t want to be consumed by a fetish for improvement that prevents me from doing a first run of the book.

It’s also going to be a truncated work day because the house made a loud demand for attention yesterday by breaking the garage door and I need to get that repaired so skunks and raccoons don’t make a home inside during the cold weather. Plus, there’s a handyman around repairing the gutters and woodwork damaged by the recent rains.

Question for writers out there –
Do you name your chapters? Or are they just numbers?

More next week.

If you have some tips to share or experiences of your own, please leave them here in the comments instead of FB so I can keep a record.

3 thoughts on “Writing a Novel – Day 5

  1. Jeanne Fredriksen

    OK, I admit to being anal about some things! And I like organization for some things. This is how my left brain gets exercise, BTW. My right brain loves the absolute chaos of creating the story and the characters that populate it. LOL!

    My numbering system isn’t complicated for me because each .1, .2, etc. is a scene happening during the month (i.e., 4 = October). Later, I’ll refine that. Until then, I’m good with it.

  2. Vidya Pradhan Post author

    LOL, I agree about the tweaking!
    Jeanne, what a complicated way to number the chapters..I think it reveals something about… ahem… some OCD in the creator? Ha!

  3. Jeanne Fredriksen

    Regarding the question of naming chapters, I have both named and numbered the chpters in the (nearly-complete) first draft. Well, OK … I’ve named most of the chapters, but I put that aside when I realized that the chapters will need to be re-addressed in the next draft. By that, I mean that I’ll have to decide how to handle the naming/numbering once I go back and re-organize (many things). Right now, my chapters are each month from July of one year through July of the next, with each month having a chapter number. Ah, but to compound things, each month is broken up into different numbers of chapters – that will, most likely, change somewhere along the way. The month of October, for example, is designated by Chapters 4.0, 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, etc. I’m using this method just to keep me organized. The naming of the chapters has a pattern to it, but I’m going to re-evaluate that later, too.

    I don’t know that it’s important to name your chapters this early in the process, but as with anything creative, it’s entirely up to the creator. And as you well know, things change so frequently during that creative process. OTOH, if you’re structuring your novel to read instead like a set of short stories, I’d say it would be important to have working titles at the very least.

    Isn’t it a pain when real life rips you from passion? Then again, who wants to play hostess to Skunk Hollow Resort & Spa? Not I, and I’m certain, not you!

    P.S. Tweaking is endless. Don’t let it stall you, or you’ll be working on Chapters 1-3 this time next year! LOL!

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